American designer Tommy Hilfiger, together with Hilfiger’s investment company HV Advisors, revealed the brand will be partnering with Elite World Group (EWG) Virtual to invest in virtual talent and experiences and expand the organisation’s reach.
The partnership will utilise EWG’s digital technology and emerging media and likely expand the fashion label’s presence in v-commerce, virtual content and hyperrealistic avatars. Uniting Hilfiger’s experience in fashion and entertainment with EWG’s work in the Metaverse, the two hope to transform how brands interact with virtual talent and experiences.
“Together with EWG Virtual, I am excited to tap into the future of virtual media and technology to enhance the possibilities for talent, consumers and brands to connect with one another,” Hilfiger said in a statement. “In the past year, virtual experiences have rapidly become a part of our new normal, giving us more ways to interact with each other as well as how we engage with our favourite brands and consumer entertainment, pop culture and the celebrity world.”
Model and influencer Jasmine Sanders was revealed as the brand’s first digital avatar, featured in an immersive fashion film while wearing digitised Hilfiger clothing. In the film, a VR Sanders walks 3D virtual runways as a way to showcase the capabilities of EWG’s technology.
“I am thrilled to be partnering with Tommy and his company on this new virtual venture,” said EWG’s CEO and co-owner, Julia Haart. “We are both passionate about creating innovative business models and reinventing the way things are done.”
According to a survey conducted by virtual experience company Threekit, over 60 percent of respondents reported they felt more engaged with a brand that uses VR and AR resulting in more customer spending through virtual stores. A number of luxury brands have already implemented similar additions to their strategy.
Ralph Lauren recently launched a digital collection through the online avatar app Zepeto, while other brands like Gucci and Burberry executed AR tools allowing shoppers to virtually try on their clothing.
Haart continued: “By digitising our models, athletes, musicians, actors and cultural influencers, we are providing our talent with opportunities to extend their personal brands and engage with their fans in new digital formats that will create longevity in their careers.”